Their inner voice

The way that we talk to our kids becomes their inner voice. This is true for all kids. They don’t have to be your kids per say. They could be your younger sibling, your cousin or a kid that you’re babysitting. And that voice stays with them into their adult life. It essentially defines who they are going to be. Or how they are going to hold themselves.

I know this is true. I live it. Every single day. And it is a struggle to get that voice out of my head. Especially in regards to my appearance…more so my weight.

You see, I grew up poor. We didn’t have a lot of food a lot of the time. Now its called food insecurity. So my favorite snack ould be a slice of bread because bread can be cheap and we usually had a loaf lying around the kitchen. However, anytime that my oldest brother saw me eating a slice of bread….he would say ‘you’re going to get fat’. Every Single Time.

That voice became my life. I am fat. But that isn’t from lack of trying to lose weight. I got to the gym. I eat semi healthy. I am active. As much as I can be since that one car accident has left lasting effects on my body. However, instead of looking at my curves thinking ‘hey I am thick’ or ‘Hey I have a nice shape’ I look in the mirror and think I am fat.

This stems from my father always calling my oldest brother an idiot That became his inner voice. So he learning that lashing out like this was okay from his father, he decided that (even without meaning to) it would be okay to pass this behavior down to his younger siblings. Now my other brother never got along with our brother, so he never endured this ‘voice’. However, I am the mediator between the two of them so I have a relationship with both. And because I love both of my brothers….. I have this voice inside my head that says I am fat. Even after the birth of my first daughter, I dropped downto a size 7….the smallest I have ever been in my adult life. I still looked into the mirror and thought that I was fat.

I have two daughters of my own as well as two nephews who I see Monday thru Friday like clockwork. I don’t want my insecurities….my inner voice to become theirs. That is why I try so hard to pass on positive things to them. Positive messages. My oldest nephew loves to draw. Every single time he shows me a drawing, even if it isn’t perfect, I tell him that it is awesome. That he is doing a good job. That he should keep it up. I cannot draw. I have told him that on numerous occasions. However, the fact that he can look at a movie character and then draw it out, even if it is not perfect, it pretty impressive to me and I feel that it is only right that he hear positive feedback. I understand that yes, criticism is an effective way to get better. However, we don’t need to be negatively criticising others. For instance, I could say ‘hey bud, his arm is looking a little weird, have you tried drawing it this way’. A comment that wouldn’t harmfully affect his mental state. However, saying things like ‘you can’t draw’ or ‘you should give that up already’ can have a negative effect.

I know this all too well too because I hear that voice all the time. I am a nit picker. A perfectionist. And when I cannot get something perfect, I think I am no good at anything. It is a spiriling cirlce. I know that there are so many people on Facebook and Twitter who are saying that we are rasing a bunch of sissy’s because we’re not telling them like it is. Instead we’re ‘handling them like glass’. Yes, I agree. To a certain extent. This upcoming generation is taking everything way too seriously. They are getting offended by almost everything. Like I read that they’re trying to get Baby Its cold outside taken off the radio station because it goes against the Me Too movement. However, If you pay attention to the lyrics and the time period that it was written, you will see that he’s not trying to take advantage of her. Instead, shes trying to stay. She wants to stay but the social norm of the time period says that she cannot. Because they are not married. So she’s basically saying hey I cannot drink and drive I would like to stay with you.

I’m sorry, I went off on a tangent. It is a difficult task not to say what you think. Especially if you think it is what your kid needs to hear. The early stages up until their teenage years are very critical. The way we talk and treat them are going to be reflected in their own minds. They will then reflect this behaviour out onto the world.

Take care of yourself

Being a parent is by far one of the greatest things anyone can do. Now that doesn’t mean that everyone should be a parent. And I’m not saying that as a bad thing. Not everyone wants kids and that is fine. Because they know that they wouldn’t make good parents. However, that moment when you first hold your kid, at least for me, was the greatest moments of my life. I was 19 when my first daughter was born. The moment they laid her on my chest, I knew that being is a mother was one of the best things I could ever do.

 

While being a parent is by far one of the best things that could happen to you in your lifetime, it can be draining. Especially when the kids are younger. And especially when you suffer from a mental illness. With my anxiety, I fear all of the little and big things alike. It is like they are the same level of bad. A fall, a scrape etc. And these moments can be so draining. If you don’t have anxiety and have never experienced an anxiety/panic attack then you don’t understand how utterly draining they are.

As much as you want to keep trucking and pushing along for your kid because they need you. You are their everything. You cannot give them the best that they need, you cannot keep giving your all if you’re not at your best. It is like the saying ‘you cannot fill from an empty cup’ The same concept goes into being a parent.

Now there are some who think that if you’re taking some ‘me time’ then you are neglecting your parental duties. That is absolutely rubbish. If you keep giving your all to your kids without taking care of yourself, soon your kids are going to feel it. They’re gonna start reacting to it as well.

So you have to take care of yourself. You just have to. For the good of your family. Just a little bit a day can do so much for you. For your anxiety, for your relationship, for your family. Everyone benefits from you recharging. The best analogy I can give is your cell phone. At 100% its an amazing thing. It calls texts social media EVERYTHING. But once that battery gets down to 10% it starts to lag, slow down. Soon its dead. The battery has been completely used up and you cannot use it anymore. That is what it is like as a parent. If you don’t recharge then you’re not going to be of any use.

For me, I recharge by taking a long shower or a relaxing bath. My husband comes home and takes over some of the parental duties while I go and just digress. I relax. I recharge. I emerge clean and mentally refreshed.

So take some time to recharge. Everyone benefits from it.

Are you the adult you want your child to be

When I became pregnant with my oldest kid, I knew that the partying was over with, since I was only 19 at the time. I knew I needed to grow up and grow up fast. I also knew that I didn’t want my kid to go thru what I went thru growing up and I knew that I wanted her to have more than I did. I knew that I never wanted her to worry about where her next meal would be coming from and I didn’t want to her to worry about the things that I did when I was a kid. However, am I the adult that I want my kids to grow up to be.

We learn how to adult from the adults in our lives. I think I get my strong will and hard headedness from my mom. I mean she was a single mother of three kids and was strong enough to leave an abusive relationship. She was a great role model even though we had it extremely rough growing up.

I know that I am not the perfect mom but I am a loving mom. I love my kids more than life itself. I will go to bat for them no matter what. As a stay at home mom, I am the forefront of what goes on in their daily lives. I am the one that wakes them up, prepares their food, makes sure they have everything they need, make their dr apts and takes the to them. I handle their medication, their bed times, their laundry everything. As a stay at home mom, my kids are not my job but everything that involves them is. My kids are my priority. The laundry and everything else is my job.

However, I am not the adult that I want them to be. Not yet. I have a long way to go. I am always trying to get better. With a mental illness such as anxiety disorder, I tend to over react. I tend to be overly cautious. And I don’t want them to grow up to be that type of person. I am always trying to learn new ways to overcome my anxiety with my kids and around my kids. It is just how I am.

Although, at this exact moment, I am not the adult that I want my kids to be… I am constantly trying to get better. I am constantly striving to be that adult they should be. And I hope that teaches them that although you don’t automatically have all of your shit together, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t keep trying to do so.

 

Are you the adult you want your kid to be? If so, how did you get there? If not, what steps are you taking?

Relaxing

Sometimes my husband has Monday’s off. However, he usually works 6 days a week. He is an amazing, hard working man. So when he wants to relax, I try to let him. Unless something needs to get done that I either cannot physically do or it creeps me out….like going under the house.

Some days, when he is off, we like to relax together. Maybe stay in bed longer than normal or just be lazy. Hide out. It wouldn’t be all to bad if my kids actually understood the meaning of sleeping in on the weekends. But nooo…our 7 year old wakes up by or before 8 am every weekend, unless she’s sick. Usually the 7 year old is pretty awesome about just chilling in her room until everyone is up and moving. However, there are some mornings where her and her sister are up and they just know we’re up….even if we’re quiet. They just know.

Now in my imagination they shoot up  from their beds, wide eyed. Lift their nose way into the air….take a big whiff, look at each other and say ‘lets pounce’.

I kid you not. Every single time we try to be lazy or relax. Kick our feet up or anything… THEY KNOW.

Sometimes they’ll come and bug us with things like I’m hungry, I’m thirsty. I need this or that. But most times they decide that this is when they want to fight over the same exact toy that they have a duplicate of…. Just because. Or they come to tell us something and its like they repeat it over and over and over and over until you acknowledge them…. And the thing about that is the more you try to ignore them….the louder they get.

It is like they just know when we are taking a minute.

For instance, I spring clean and fall/winter clean.  When I am cleaning they are either under my feet which I then put them to work….or they are no where to be seen. Since I was in the wreck, my back and hips give me issues from time to time. Since I injured my knee and have feet problems I take breaks. Not a lot of breaks because I just want to get done and the more breaks I take the longer this project is going to take. However, the minute I sit down to put my knee up or get something to drink….they pounce. They just know. They have a sixth sense about this kind of thing. It is crazy.

 

Do your kids know when you’re relaxing? even if they’re in another room?

I feel weird

Okay so the other day I decided to do a test run for some fudge that I am planning on sending to my husband’s first show. My anxiety is like you need to make sure this turns out ahead of time instead of it failing the day of.

So I of course go to the store and buy everything that I need. Come home and start to make it. However this calls for me to roll the fudge into individual circles right before it hardens. Its white chocolate fudge with jack skellington face drawn on. Its almost Halloween the show is just a few days before Halloween So I thought that it would be a great idea.

Unfortunately I have issues. Like major big time issues. Once I start rolling the fudge… It starts sticking to my hands and my fingers and I have almost a complete meltdown. I hurry to the sink and stand there washing my hands over and over for 5 minutes. My mom is over and she was at the sink when I asked her to move and I am pretty sure she is concerned about me now.

But this isn’t the first time like this has happened and I have done a fantastic job of making sure very few people have seen my freak outs. Its to the point that I cannot out my hand in sink water that’s been left sitting for a period of time or touch anything slimey. Also if gloves or socks are too tight I spazz because it feels like they are constricted.

I never knew what this meant. I just thought I was a weird person. That is until I was talking to my best friend about my freak out and she told me its called sensory processing disorder. Her and her autistic son have it. So now I finally have a name for the thing that makes my skin crawl and a panic attack ensue. But I still feel weird

Be their calm

 
Little people are constantly learning…. and not just their language and math skills… They take the ques on how to act, react and be from the people around them.. We are their role models and for many years, we are their everything…

So when they are overwhelmed by big emotions…..it is up to the parents to be their calm, teach them how to be calm and not join their chaos….

I know its hard… especially if their big emotions are coming at a time when you, as the parent, are busy. As a stay at home mom, I am always up. I am always doing something. There is always something that needs to be done. So when my two year old comes to me because she misplaced a toy and is heartbroken…it can get kind of in the way. Which being an emotional person myself…could end up with me freaking out…. And I usualy don’t freak out when she loses a toy. I do however get a litte annoyed when she clings to my leg while I am trying to cook dinner because well the stove is really flipping hot….

But it is complicated for kids. Because they’re overwhelmed. They’re developing new emotions that they’re not ready for. That they’re not 100% sure how to handle. And when you’re a busy parent. It is so easy to join in their chaos… But in the end….it just makes it worse…

By joining their chaos, you’re showing them that the way to handle said emotion is by creating more chaos, staying in the chaos and not learning a way to fix the situation. Therefore, when your kid is developing new emotions that overwhelm them…..that cause them chaos. It is our job to be their calm… be that person that they can come to when they are unaware of how to react or how to change what they’re feeling…. It is our job to help them learn to calm down. We are their rocks. We are their calm in the crazy ocean that is feelings. As a mother with anxiety disorder, I know how overwhelming and overbearing emotions can be…. So for just a little while, I can put my emotions….my chaos…. on the back burner and be the calm in the storm…